Heroic Measures (Blackbridge Security #6) - Marie James Page 0,2

past to protect the only woman I ever loved, and the alpha tendencies fade as quickly as they arrived. I shove thoughts of my mother to the far recesses of my mind and move to the next table.

“Very good,” I tell the next woman when she manages the correct hold and is able to push the bullets into the magazine without much strain.

She gives me a soft smile, making it clear she doesn’t hear praise very often, and I don’t miss the way she keeps her shoulders back and her eyes trailing me as I move to the woman sitting beside her. She’s leery of me, and I recognize the perfected skill because I too still struggle with eye contact and trusting those around me to be decent human beings.

Class goes on, eventually leading to the part where the women are guided to the shooting range.

I avoid one end of the room, helping the women farthest from the blonde beauty, and have to frown when I notice Quinten avoiding that end as well.

He spends some time working with the woman who sang my name earlier, and it hits me that this is Gayle, the woman we had a lengthy discussion about earlier this week. She looks like a gangbanger with the way she’s holding the weapon, and I have to smile when Quinten corrects her with a frown on his face.

I can tell just from observing that the woman is absolute trouble. Only the fire in her eyes that speak of revenge and retribution doesn’t cause me as much concern as was voiced by my best friend. If this woman goes rogue and takes out the men who hurt her, I’d say the world would be a safer place because of it.

Chapter 2


Life is strange.

Life is a mixture of happenings and occurrences that seem completely out of your control.

Of meeting people and forming attachments you never would’ve put together, but somehow just seem to work.

Like beans in chili or lettuce on a taco pizza.

Like Aerosmith and Run-DMC.

Like my best friend Hayden and me.

We’re the unlikeliest of pairs.

She’s quiet, preferring her couch to the vinyl booth I just urged her to grab while I got us drinks at the bar.

She’s an accountant with a head for numbers, and I can’t seem to keep my checkbook balanced, not that I have to worry about money these days.

She gets anxious in crowds, and I love being the center of attention.

She’s got a snarl on her face right now after our instructor ran off a guy she made very clear she didn’t want to speak with. I would’ve flirted and smiled, knowing that there’s a possibility for adventure in every person I meet. Where my best friend is all about comfort and quiet, I’m looking for fun and any way to turn my brain off for a few hours.

It’s why I work when I don’t have to. Staying home alone for hours on end doesn’t interest me at all. I want to party and be seen. I want eyes on me, uncaring if someone is sneering at me angrily or salivating because they find me attractive. All attention is good attention as far as I’m concerned.

Hayden? I can tell she’s not impressed by Quinten, but what she doesn’t realize is that I’ve known her long enough to recognize the heat in her eyes when she glances his way.

The man is sex personified from his huge hands to the thick beard clinging to his jaw, and even my friend isn’t immune to his surly attitude.

I formulate a plan to make her realize she has a crush on him as I wait for my martini and her soda. What better way to open someone’s eyes than to make them jealous?

I’ve mentioned more than once that I find the man attractive, but seeing the way she sneers at him, her eyes focusing a little too long on his lips makes me understand her attraction to him. I’d never get in the way of my friend and a guy she likes, but that doesn’t mean she has to know it. Jealousy is a very sneaky thing, and I guess it’s a good thing I know exactly which of her buttons to press.

Besides, keeping my focus on trying to matchmake Hayden with our handsome instructor will give me something to focus on rather than his friend who showed up late for class. I teased Hayden about Jude Morris looking and acting like Spencer Reid from Criminal Minds, a show